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And Our Critics Commend

November 16, 1986

Rising From the Plains, John McPhee (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), gives us a glimpse of the open, sparsely settled land around the Rocky Mountains--"its geology, the story of some of the people who settled it, and some rather disturbing thoughts about its future" (James Trefil).

The Invisible Bar: The Woman Lawyer in America, 1638-1986, Karen Berger Morello (Random House), "will be good reading both for legal historians and for lawyers, both male and female, who seek to understand whence they have come . . . delightful and entertaining, if sobering" (Carrie J. Menkel-Meadow).

Talking Man, Terry Bisson (Arbor House), about a dream and "the world in that dream," is a fantasy novel of adventure "written in a crisp, precise and sweeping style" (Jesus Trevino).

A World Apart: The Journal of a Gulag Survivor, Gustav Herling, translated by Andrzej Ciozkosz (Arbor House); Letters From Prison and Other Essays, Adam Michnik, translated by Maya Latynski (University of California). The great force of "A World Apart" lies in its detailed recounting, with an almost sickeningly graphic realism, of the varieties of dehumanization among the Soviet labor camp population. "Letters From Prison" is an "altogether more cheerful and buoyant voice from the East. For it comes more than 30 years later, when Poland had returned to life" (Martin E. Malia).

Descartes' Dream: The World According to Mathematics, Philip J. Davis and Reuben Hersh (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich). The authors, troubled by the increasing mathematization of the world since the 17th Century, reject the idea that mathematics consists of "timeless truths that remain true whether or not anyone has discovered them" (Lee Dembart).

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